Following a successful stint in summer stock, Jan fully expects her drama teacher, Mrs. Nicholson, to give her the best part in the school play, The Crucible. After auditions, however, a new girl gets the role. Hurt though she is, Jan admits that Kerry is perfect for the part and reluctantly accepts the job of stage manager. Jan works closely with all the cast members, including the arrogant male lead, Kent. She also coaches Kerry, finding herself more and more attracted to her. The feeling is reciprocal, and it isn't long before Jan and Kerry are in love, a fact they attempt to keep secret. Kent, however, who harbors a dislike of Jan, launches a vicious campaign of rumor and innuendo, first among the cast and then throughout the school. Meanwhile, Mrs. Nicholson succumbs by degrees to cancer, leaving Jan to direct the play, which further infuriates Kent. What opened as a tender tale becomes a story of the outrages heaped on any teenager suspected of being different, although Kent's deep, almost pathological hatred, chalked up much later to homophobia, is never adequately explained in the early pages. This is not Annie on My Mind (1982) revisited, but it covers similar territory.